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COLLEGE FOOTBALL THIS WEEK

Week 1

Wednesday, Sept. 1

UAB vs. Jacksonville State (Cramton Bowl in Montgomery, Ala.) | 7:30 p.m. | ESPN

Thursday, Sept. 2

Houston Baptist at New Mexico | 8 p.m.

Temple at Rutgers | 6:30 p.m. | Big Ten Network

Long Island University at FIU | 7 p.m. | ESPN3

Boise State at UCF | 7 p.m. | ESPN

Western Illinois at Ball State | 7 p.m. | ESPN+

Wagner at Buffalo | 7 p.m. | ESPN3

The Citadel at No. 22 Coastal Carolina | 7 p.m. | ESPN+

Weber State at No. 24 Utah | 7:30 p.m. | Pac-12 Network

South Florida at NC State | 7:30 p.m. | ACC Network

East Carolina vs. Appalachian State (Bank of America Stadium, in Charlotte N.C.)| 7:30 p.m. | ESPNU

UC Davis at Tulsa | 7:30 p.m. | ESPN+

Bowling Green at Tennessee | 8 p.m. | SEC Network

UT Martin at Western Kentucky | 8 p.m. | ESPN+

No. 4 Ohio State at Minnesota | 8 p.m. | FOX

Eastern Washington at UNLV | 10 p.m. | Stadium

Southern Utah at No. 25 Arizona State | 10:30 p.m. | Pac-12 Network

Friday, Sept. 3

No. 10 North Carolina at Virginia Tech | 6 p.m. | ESPN

Duke at Charlotte | 7 p.m. | CBSSN

Old Dominion at Wake Forest | 7 p.m. | ACC Network

St. Francis (PA) at Eastern Michigan | 7 p.m. | ESPN3

South Dakota at Kansas | 8 p.m. | ESPN+

Michigan State at Northwestern | 9 p.m. | ESPN

Northern Colorado at Colorado | 9 p.m. | Pac-12 Network

South Dakota State at Colorado State | 9 p.m. | FS1

Saturday, Sept. 4

UL Monroe at Kentucky | 12 p.m. | SEC Network

Colgate at Boston College | 12 p.m. | ACC Network

Western Michigan at Michigan | 12 p.m. | ESPN

No. 19 Penn State at No. 12 Wisconsin | 12 p.m. | FOX

Holy Cross at UConn | 12 p.m. | CBSSN

Stanford vs. Kansas State (AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas) | 12 p.m. | FS1

No. 2 Oklahoma at Tulane | 12 p.m. | ABC

Army at Georgia State | 12 p.m. | ESPNU

Fordham at Nebraska | 12 p.m. | Big Ten Network

Rice at Arkansas | 2 p.m. | SEC Network+

Fresno State at No. 11 Oregon | 2 p.m. | Pac-12 Network

Lafayette at Air Force | 2 p.m. | Stadium

No. 1 Alabama vs. No. 14 Miami (Florida) (Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta, Georgia) | 3:30 p.m. | ABC

Marshall at Navy | 3:30 p.m. | CBSSN

No. 17 Indiana at No. 18 Iowa | 3:30 p.m. | Big Ten Network

West Virginia at Maryland | 3:30 p.m. | ESPN

Northern Iowa at No. 7 Iowa State | 3:30 p.m. | ESPN+

Miami (Ohio) at No. 8 Cincinnati | 3:30 p.m. | ESPN+

Louisiana Tech at Mississippi State | 4 p.m. | ESPNU

Central Michigan at Missouri | 4 p.m. | SEC Network

UMass at Pitt | 4 p.m. | ACC Network

Montana State at Wyoming | 4 p.m.

No. 23 Louisiana at No. 21 Texas | 4:30 p.m. | FOX

San Jose State at No. 15 USC | 5 p.m. | Pac-12 Network

Campbell at Liberty | 6 p.m. | ESPN3

Gardner-Webb at Georgia Southern | 6 p.m. | ESPN3

Akron at Auburn | 7 p.m. | ESPN+

Eastern Illinois at South Carolina | 7 p.m. | ESPN+

Monmouth at Middle Tennessee | 7 p.m. | ESPN3

Syracuse at Ohio | 7 p.m. | CBSSN

Oregon State at Purdue | 7 p.m. | FS1

Texas Tech vs. Houston (NRG Stadium in Houston, Texas) | 7 p.m. | ESPN

Missouri State at Oklahoma State | 7 p.m. | ESPN+

Baylor at Texas State | 7 p.m. | ESPN+

Nicholls at Memphis | 7 p.m. | ESPN+

Abilene Christian at SMU | 7 p.m. | ESPN+

Norfolk State at Toledo | 7 p.m. | ESPN3

Central Arkansas at Arkansas State | 7 p.m. | ESPN3

Southern at Troy | 7 p.m. | ESPN3

FAU at No. 13 Florida | 7:30 p.m. | SEC Network

No. 3 Clemson vs. No. 5 Georgia (Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte, N.C.) | 7:30 p.m. | ABC

Northwestern State at North Texas | 7:30 p.m. | ESPN3

UTSA at Illinois | 7:30 p.m. | Big Ten Network

Northern Illinois at Georgia Tech | 7:30 p.m. | ACC Network

William & Mary at Virginia | 7:30 p.m. | ESPN3

Kent State at No. 6 Texas A&M | 8 p.m. | ESPNU

East Tennessee State at Vanderbilt | 8 p.m. | SEC Network+

Southern Miss at South Alabama | 8 p.m. | ESPN+

Duquesne at TCU | 8 p.m. | ESPN+

Montana at No. 20 Washington | 8 p.m. | Pac-12 Network

No. 16 LSU at UCLA | 8:30 p.m. | FOX

Bethune-Cookman at UTEP | 9 p.m. | ESPN3

Nevada at Cal | 10:30 p.m. | FS1

BYU vs. Arizona (Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas, Nevada) | 10:30 p.m. | ESPN

New Mexico State at San Diego State | 10:30 p.m. | CBSSN

Utah State at Washington State | 11 p.m. | Pac-12 Network

Portland State at Hawai’i | 12 a.m.

Sunday, Sept. 5

No. 9 Notre Dame at Florida State | 7:30 p.m. | ABC

Monday, Sept. 6

Louisville vs. Ole Miss (Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta, Georgia) | 8 p.m. | ESPN

NFL WEEK 1

WEEK 1

Thursday, September 09, 2021

Dallas Cowboys at Tampa Bay Buccaneers (Thu) 8:20p (ET) 8:20p NBC

Sunday, September 12, 2021

Philadelphia Eagles at Atlanta Falcons 1:00p (ET) 1:00p FOX

Pittsburgh Steelers at Buffalo Bills 1:00p (ET) 1:00p CBS

New York Jets at Carolina Panthers 1:00p (ET) 1:00p CBS

Minnesota Vikings at Cincinnati Bengals 1:00p (ET) 1:00p FOX

San Francisco 49ers at Detroit Lions 1:00p (ET) 1:00p FOX

Jacksonville Jaguars at Houston Texans 12:00p (CT) 1:00p CBS

Seattle Seahawks at Indianapolis Colts 1:00p (ET) 1:00p FOX

Arizona Cardinals at Tennessee Titans 12:00p (CT) 1:00p CBS

Los Angeles Chargers at Washington Football Team 1:00p (ET) 1:00p CBS

Cleveland Browns at Kansas City Chiefs 3:25p (CT) 4:25p CBS

Miami Dolphins at New England Patriots 4:25p (ET) 4:25p CBS

Green Bay Packers at New Orleans Saints 3:25p (CT) 4:25p FOX

Denver Broncos at New York Giants 4:25p (ET) 4:25p FOX

Chicago Bears at Los Angeles Rams 5:20p (PT) 8:20p NBC

Monday, September 13, 2021

Baltimore Ravens at Las Vegas Raiders (Mon) 5:15p (PT) 8:15p ESPN/ABC

Patriots cut Cam Newton, clearing way for Mac Jones to start

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. (AP) The Mac Jones era in New England has begun.

The Patriots released Cam Newton on Tuesday, clearing the way for the rookie to open the season as New England’s quarterback.

Newton’s release came hours before NFL teams had to reduce their rosters to 53 players and brings an abrupt end to his time in New England. Newton went 7-8 as the starter in the Patriots’ first season since Tom Brady departed and signed with Tampa Bay. New England finished 7-9 for the year.

“I really appreciate all the love and support during this time, but I must say please don’t feel sorry for me!! (hash)imGOOD,” Newton posted on Instagram Tuesday.

Running back James White said Newton’s departure is example of players never knowing what to expect when roster cuts are made.

“Cam did his best job for us and competed extremely hard. … He’s a good football player,” White said. “I hope he gets another opportunity to land on his feet.”

Newton started each of New England’s three preseason games, but he also missed five days of practice leading into Sunday’s exhibition finale against the New York Giants after a “misunderstanding” of NFL COVID-19 protocols. Newton attended an out-of-town doctor’s appointment, and because he is unvaccinated, he had to stay away from the team for five days.

Newton tested positive for COVID-19 last season, forcing him to miss a game. The prospect of him being unavailable again because he hasn’t been vaccinated may have played a role in the Patriots’ decision.

Meanwhile, Jones was impressive throughout training camp, displaying an ability to lead the offense down the field and bounce back from mistakes. It helped him earn the respect of the coaching staff and veteran players.

“He’s accepted the challenge and he’s trying to push us, speaking up in the huddle,” White said. “He’s been building that confidence more and more. You just started believing him.”

Jones won a national title last year at Alabama under Nick Saban, a longtime friend and former colleague of Patriots coach Bill Belichick. Jones has noted the similarities between the two coaches and said it’s helped him integrate into the Patriots’ culture.

Fellow Alabama alum and linebacker Dont’a Hightower said last week that Jones’ work ethic has stood out in the locker room. He also noted how he recently heard the rookie had been looking at the Patriots’ defensive plays to help him conceptualize how opposing defenses might attack.

“I give him credit for that because not a lot of young guys would see that as an opportunity and he did that on his own,” Hightower said.

Belichick acknowledged at the time that Newton’s COVID-19 protocols absence provided an opportunity for Jones. The rookie seized it, performing well during the first of two joint practices with the Giants.

“I’m going to be ready whenever my time comes up,” Jones said after Sunday’s 22-20 win over New York. “We got work to do and we’ll get the things fixed and then we’ll just keep rolling.”

Though he didn’t start any exhibition games, Jones took 107 snaps to 38 for Newton. He completed 69% (36 of 52) of his passes for 389 yards, a touchdown and no interceptions.

“Mac’s done a great job,” Patriots center David Andrews said. “He’s come in and worked really hard. He’s obviously done a lot of really good things.”

When he was drafted in April, Jones became the first quarterback selected in the first round during Belichick’s time in New England.

The Patriots’ move means this could mark the second time since the NFL-AFL merger that more than two rookie quarterbacks started opening games.

Trevor Lawrence already has been named the starter in Jacksonville; Zach Wilson is projected to start for the Jets; and Jones is set for New England’s opener against Miami on Sept. 12.

Five rookie quarterbacks started openers in 2012.

“I’ve learned at a young age to just prepare like the starter,” Jones said Sunday. “You don’t have to be the starter, but you have to prepare and get into your routine.”

NOTES: CB Stephon Gilmore was placed on the physically unable to perform list, meaning he won’t be eligible to play for the first six games of the season. Despite some accuracy issues in the Patriots’ second exhibition game, rookie kicker Quinn Nordin did enough beat out veteran Nick Folk for the starting job. That extends New England’s streak to 18 consecutive years with an undrafted rookie making the initial 53-man roster.

NFLPA investigating Urban Meyer’s comments on vaccine status

(AP) — The NFL Players Association has launched an investigation following Jacksonville Jaguars coach Urban Meyer’s admission that vaccination status factored into the team’s roster decisions.

NFLPA spokesman George Atallah confirmed the union’s action in an email to The Associated Press on Tuesday night, hours after Meyer told reporters: “Everyone was considered. That was part of the production, let’s start talking about this and also, `Is he vaccinated or not?’ Can I say that that was a decision-maker? It was certainly in consideration.”

The NFL hasn’t mandated COVID-19 vaccines but has incorporated strict protocols for players who aren’t fully vaccinated.

Meyer pointed to defensive end Josh Allen missing one week because of protocols. Allen, who is not vaccinated, was activated from the COVID-19 list Monday.

“Well, Josh Allen’s never had (COVID),” Meyer said. “He’s not played in two weeks. So he’s never had COVID. I don’t know if I’m allowed to say that, but he’s never had COVID. So that’s pretty punitive.”

The Patriots released Cam Newton, the 2015 NFL MVP, in a surprise move to pave the way for rookie quarterback Mac Jones. Newton is not vaccinated and missed practice last week due to the protocols.

Philadelphia Eagles general manager Howie Roseman raised his eyebrows when asked about Meyer’s comments and if the team made similar decisions.

“We cut the roster based on the 53 best guys that we thought could help our football team,” Roseman said. “And then going forward, when we look at guys, we’re going to look at them based on their ability, how they fit our system, what their background is, to make sure we’re bringing in the right people into this building. That’s really how all our discussions have been about.”

Payton: Saints planning up to a month away from New Orleans

(AP) — The New Orleans Saints are investigating the possibility of remaining in the Dallas area for up to a month and opening their regular season against Green Bay in the Cowboys’ home stadium, coach Sean Payton said.

While the Superdome appears to have been spared significant damage from Hurricane Ida, there are logistical challenges with staffing an NFL game there in the near future because of the widespread damage in the New Orleans area.

Many New Orleans residents have evacuated and officials have advised them not to return for at least another several days while roadways are cleared and widespread damage to power lines are repaired. Some neighborhoods are expected to be without power for weeks.

“There’s a chance that, if our stadium is not ready to host the Packers in Week 1, where might that game be?” Payton said Tuesday. “That game could very well be right here at AT&T Stadium. We’ve got enough fans in this area and Houston, certainly from northern Louisiana, that we think that would be something that’s very realistic.”

Payton said the Dallas area, where the Saints relocated on Saturday as Ida approached the Gulf Coast, also seems to make the most sense as a temporary practice base because multiple Division I college football programs there have offered help and because of conflicts or logistical challenges with other locations the club considered.

TCU, where Payton’s son, Connor, is a student, and SMU have reached out and “completely would love to be a part of helping us and hosting us,” Payton said.

Payton said the Saints are focused on making a four-week plan, “knowing we can always adjust if need be.”

“A lot of it will depend on, when is the city ready to receive people to come back? When’s the power back up?” Payton continued. “When are all the things up and running at least for people to return? And we don’t know the answer to that yet.”

Payton said the Saints cannot use the Greenbrier Resort in West Virginia, where they held three training camps from 2014 to 2016, because the San Francisco 49ers are using it between season-opening road games in Detroit and Philadelphia.

Indianapolis was ruled out because of a Guns N’ Roses concert scheduled there, Payton said.

And while Payton is fond of Oxnard California, where the Cowboys traditionally begin their training camp, that spot didn’t make sense in terms of travel because the Saints have road games at Charlotte and New England in the first month of the season.

“I don’t think it’s in our best interest to go to California,” Payton began, “and then make two East Coast trips.”

Meanwhile, Payton also spoke for the first time about his decision late last week to name Jameis Winston his starting quarterback over Taysom Hill. The two competed throughout the preseason to succeed retired record-setting passer Drew Brees. And Payton assured that Hill, a strong all-around athlete who’s played multiple positions, would continue to have a considerable role.

Winston, a 2015 top overall draft choice by Tampa Bay who joined the Saints as a reserve last season, has “done a great job. He’s earned that,” Payton said of the starting nod. “The No. 1 thing is leading your offense, and moving the ball, and scoring points. We feel like he’s got a unique skill set with his arm talent where he can get ball down the field. He’s done a really good job working through some of the progressions.”

Winston separated himself from Hill in the Saints’ second preseason game against Jacksonville on Aug. 23, completing nine of 10 passes during three series, highlighted by touchdown passes of 43 and 29 yards to second-year receiver Marquez Callaway.

Through two preseason games, Winston completed 16 of 22 passes for 219 yards, three touchdowns and one interception. Hill completed 19 of 32 for 219 yards with one touchdown and one interception.

Payton also said the offensive coaching staff also would look “very closely at how we want to utilize Taysom and the positions we want to play him.”

Hill, who played on special teams, at tight end and served as a change-of-pace, read-option QB even while Brees was playing, went 3-1 as a starter while Brees was injured last season.

Winston and Hill are “both real good football players and we’re going to need both of them this year,” Payton said.

Rays win 9th in row; Red Sox star Bogaerts tests positive

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) Randy Arozarena, rookie Wander Franco and the Tampa Bay Rays won their ninth straight game, breaking away from Boston 8-5 Tuesday night soon after Red Sox shortstop Xander Bogaerts was pulled because of a positive COVID-19 test.

Bogaerts hit an RBI single in the first inning, but the star was replaced defensively in the second.

“Boggie is such a consistent presence,” Red Sox slugger Kyle Schwarber said. “It’s unfortunate. I think your biggest concern is just the health of the individuals. This is no joke.”

It was announced before the game that Boston reliever Hirokazu Sawamura tested positive as a virus surge that started last week continues having a daily impact on the playoff-contending Red Sox.

Franco and Austin Meadows had RBI singles and Yandy Diaz hit a two-run double during a six-run third for the Rays, who are a franchise-best 36 games over .500 at 84-48.

“Very happy with the way that we’re playing.” Tampa Bay manager Kevin Cash said. “The guys deserve a lot of credit to get to this point. We’ve played five months of good baseball, let’s play a sixth month.”

Franco has a 31-game on-base streak, which is the fifth-longest by a player under 21. Meadows has 93 RBIs.

“Everything he’s done, we’re just kind of in awe,” Cash said of Franco.

Arozarena homered in the second for the AL East leaders.

“The offense has been there,” Diaz said through a translator. “Hopefully it can continue on so we continue to keep winning some games.”

Schwarber, who hit a solo homer in the sixth, and J.D. Martinez had RBI singles in the ninth off Dietrich Enns that got Boston within 8-5.

“We didn’t stop playing, which is good,” Boston manager Alex Cora said. “We were one swing away from tying that game.”

The Red Sox, 20-23 since the All-Star break, have a one-game advantage over Oakland for the second AL wildcard.

“We know where we’re at,” Cora said. “I do feel that we still can compete and still make it to the playoffs.”

Andrew Kittredge replaced Enns and struck out pinch-hitter Travis Shaw and Rafael Devers with two on to get his fifth save.

Devers picked up his 97th RBI with an eighth-inning single as Boston outhit the Rays 10-5.

Red Sox left-hander Martin Perez and right-hander Matt Barnes were added to the COVID-19 IL on Monday. Also, reliever Josh Taylor and first base coach Tom Goodwin were identified as close contacts, and quality control coach Ramon Vazquez tested positive.

Boston infielder-outfielder Kike Hernandez and infielder Christian Arroyo were placed on COVID-19 IL last Friday.

Ryan Yarbrough (8-4) allowed two runs and five hits in six innings.

Brad Peacock (0-1), acquired from Cleveland Monday for cash, started for the beleaguered Boston pitching staff and gave up five runs, two hits, two walks and hit a batter over 2 1/3 innings in his first big league appearance since last Sept. 10 with Houston.

INDY ELEVEN SOCCER

(ELEVEN RELEASE)

INDIANAPOLIS (Tuesday, August 31, 2021) – Indy Eleven midfielder Peter-Lee Vassell has been called up to the Jamaican Men’s National Team ahead of a trio of Concacaf region Final Round Qualifiers for the 2022 FIFA World Cup against Mexico this Thursday, September 2 (10:00 p.m. ET, live on Univision & Paramount+); Sunday, September 5 against Panama (6:05 p.m. ET, Paramount+); and Wednesday, September 8 against Costa Rica (9:00 p.m. ET, Paramount+).

As a result, Vassell will be unavailable for selection for Indy’s next two USL Championship fixtures, this Saturday’s home match against Atlanta United 2 and a road tilt at FC Tulsa next Wednesday, Sept. 8.

The St. James Parish, Jamaica native has turned heads in recent years with the Jamaican National Team, bagging six and four assists in 17 appearances with the “Reggae Boyz” at the senior international level including contests in the 2019 Concacaf Gold Cup and Concacaf Nations League. Vassell is poised to make his first “cap” since March 2020 while out on duty.

The 23-year-old has begun to find a steady flow of minutes for Indy Eleven, having scored his first two goals for the squad earlier this month. Vassell has appeared in 15 of Indy’s 20 regular season games to date – including five in the starting lineup – and appears poised to contribute more as the Boys in Blue head into the final stretch of the 2021 USL Championship season.

Prior to joining Indy Eleven, Vassell split the 2019 season between a pair of regular season champions, making six appearances for Major League Soccer’s Los Angeles Football Club as part of their MLS Supporters Shield winning campaign and playing another six games on loan for USL Championship side Phoenix Rising FC. Vassell made his journey stateside after LAFC selected the attacking midfielder as its first pick in the 2019 MLS SuperDraft (2nd round, 40th overall selection) following his standout performances in both the MLS Caribbean Combine and MLS Combine.

Indy Eleven (7W-8L-5D, 26 pts.; 4th in Central Division) continues its streak of four consecutive Saturdays at Carroll Stadium this weekend, when Indiana’s Team will host Atlanta United 2 (6W-9L-7D, 25 pts.; 6th place in Central) for a Labor Day Weekend clash. Tickets for the 7:00 p.m. ET match presented by IBEW Local 481 – which will feature $4 beers and $11 hot dog combos.

VALPO FOOTBALL: Valparaiso (0-0, 0-0 PFL) at Indiana Wesleyan (0-0, 0-0 MSFA)

(VALPO RELEASE)

This Week in Valpo Football: The Valparaiso University football team will kick off

the Fall 2021 season on Saturday with an instate battle against Indiana Wesleyan in

Marion. Head coach Landon Fox’s team will look to build on a strong Spring 2021

season that saw the program finish with its best winning percentage since 2003 and

match its best winning percentage since 1999. The bulk of the roster is intact as a

returning core blends with a talented group of newcomers to form the Fall 2021 roster.

Previously: Valpo closed out the Spring 2021 season with a dramatic 20-19 victory

over San Diego on April 17 at Brown Field. That snapped a 14-game head-to-head

losing streak to the Toreros and marked Valpo’s first victory over San Diego since

2003. With the win, Valpo denied San Diego a share of the Pioneer Football League

title, as the Toreros would have captured at least a share of the PFL championship

for the seventh straight season with a win. Freshman Braden Contreras made an

impressive touchdown catch in the back corner of the end zone on a 9-yard pass from

quarterback Ben Nimz with 25 seconds remaining. The extra point sailed through

the uprights to give Valpo the late lead in the heart-pounding triumph.

Series Notes: This will mark the first matchup between the two teams.

Following Valpo Football: The game will be streamed on Stretch Internet courtesy

of Indiana Wesleyan Athletics. Live stats will also be available. In addition, Todd

Ickow (play-by-play) and Brandon Vickrey (analyst) will call the game on the Valpo

Sports Network, available on 95.1 FM Valparaiso and the TuneIn Radio app. For

in-game Twitter updates, follow @valpoufootball. Links to live coverage will be

available on ValpoAthletics.com.

Head Coach Landon Fox: Landon Fox (5-13) is in his third season as the head

coach of the Valparaiso University football program in Fall 2021. During his sec-

ond season at the helm in Spring 2021, Fox was a finalist for the Eddie Robinson

Award – which is presented annually to the FCS National Coach of the Year – after

guiding Valpo to its best winning percentage since 2003 and tying for the squad’s

best winning percentage since 1999. He led his team to Pioneer Football League

runner-up honors, the program’s highest finish in the league standings since the PFL

championship season of 2003. Fox’s defensive roots paid dividends on that side of

the football in his second year at the helm, as the team enjoyed its best defensive

season in four decades. Valpo held opponents to 283.3 yards per game, the program’s

best total defense in the last 40 years. Valpo limited the opposition to 172.2 passing

yards per game, the program’s best passing defense since 2008. In addition, the

squad boasted its best rushing defense (111.2 yards per game) and scoring defense

(18.7 points per game) since 1999. In Year 1 of the Fox Era in 2019, Valpo ranked

in the Top 5 in the PFL in scoring defense (32.0, fifth), total defense (381.6, fourth),

rushing defense (184.2, fourth) and passing defense (197.3, fifth). After spending the

previous 11 seasons as the defensive coordinator and secondary coach at the Univer-

sity of Dayton, Fox was named the head football coach at Valpo prior to the 2019

season. He helped the Flyers finish with 10 winning seasons in his 11 years on staff

and guided a defensive backfield that produced one All-American, four Academic

All-Americans, two PFL Special Teams Players of the Year and three corners who

were invited to NFL Rookie Minicamp.

Scouting the Opponent: Indiana Wesleyan is an NAIA institution and a member of

the Mid-States Football Association. The Wildcats were picked to finish fourth of

eight in the MSFA preseason coaches poll. Indiana Wesleyan posted a 6-4 overall

record and 4-1 home mark during the 2019 season and played a close game against

PFL member Butler, falling 30-27 in Indianapolis. The Wildcats went 2-3 overall

and 2-1 at home during the Spring 2021 season. Indiana Wesleyan is under the

direction of Jordan Langs, who is the program’s first head coach. This will mark

the program’s fourth season of competition as Indiana Wesleyan launched football

in 2017 and began competing in games during the 2018 campaign.

PURDUE FT. WAYNE ATHLETICS: Michelle Smith Joins Purdue Fort Wayne Women’s Golf Coaching Staff

(PFW RELEASE)

FORT WAYNE, Ind. – Purdue Fort Wayne women’s golf head coach Billy King announced on Tuesday, August 31 that Michelle Smith will be joining the coaching staff for this season.

The 1993 Snider High School graduate has been a staple of the Fort Wayne golf scene since returning to the Summit City. She was a five-time winner of the Fort Wayne Women’s City Championship (1994, 2000, 2005, 2006, 2014) and is a member of the Fort Wayne LPGA Chapter. She has been a board member of the Indiana Women’s Golf Association since 2006 and served as the president from 2011-13. Smith was also a member of the Fort Wayne Women’s Golf Association from 2014-20, serving as the Vice President and City Tournament Director.

Smith was a coach in Fort Wayne for over a decade, leading the Carroll High School girls’ golf team from 2000-06 and the NAIA Saint Francis men’s and women’s golf teams from 2011-13. At Saint Francis, she led three All-Conference and an NAIA All-Scholar on the women’s side.

As a player, Smith was a four-time All-Summit Athletic Conference at Snider, the first freshman to be voted unanimously to the team. She was the SAC Player of the Year in 1992-93 and went to the Indiana State finals in three of her four seasons. She went on to play Division I golf at Coastal Carolina from 1993-97, where she played in every tournament and became an All-Conference selection twice. Smith graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration Management. After graduating, she played in numerous tournaments, including the USGA Women’s Public Links Tournaments in Maui, Hawaii (1998) and Albuquerque, New Mexico (1999), the USGA Women’s Mid-Am Tournament in Newport Beach, California in 2000, and the Indiana Women’s Mid-Am. She was named the champion of the Indiana Women’s Mid-Am in 2012.

Smith will be joining the Mastodon women’s golf coaching staff immediately, joining the ‘Dons as they head to the A-Ga-Ming Kickoff on September 5 at Central Michigan.

ANDERSON UNIVERSITY: Leatherman Returns to Anderson as Assistant Cross Country/Track & Field Coach

(AU RELEASE)

Anderson University 2020 graduate Ian Leatherman returns to Anderson to serve as an assistant cross country and track & field coach, which was announced on Tuesday.

Leatherman competed for the Ravens as a standout cross country and track & field student-athlete from 2016-2021. He came back for the 2021 outdoor track and field season to use the remainder of his eligibility following the cancellation of the Spring 2020 championships.

“I am eager to return to the AU running programs in a new capacity,” Leatherman said. “I enjoyed my time as a student-athlete and look forward to helping current athletes as the coaches I have run under have helped me. I am excited to be able to contribute to these predominantly young teams as they come into their own while I finish out my academic time at AU.”

Leatherman was honored as Anderson’s Outstanding Male Athlete in 2020. During his cross country career, Leatherman earned all-conference honors in all four years. As a freshman, he finished 19th place to earn all-Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference (HCAC) Honorable Mention. He then earned a first-team all-conference selection as a sophomore by securing 10th in the conference meet. As a junior, Leatherman captured third in the HCAC Championships to garner first-team all-conference honors. Leatherman then took 15th in the conference meet as a senior to earn all-HCAC Honorable Mention.

During the NCAA Regional Meet, Leatherman claimed 50th as a senior. He was later named a United States Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) All-Academic Individual.

Leatherman recorded three all-conference performances during the HCAC Indoor Championships in his career. He turned in a time of 8 minutes, 54.1 seconds in the 3,000-meter run to take third as a sophomore. Leatherman secured third (15:43.78) in the 5,000 as a junior and repeated in third (15:48.51) during the 5,000 as a senior.

During his career, Leatherman earned two HCAC Player-of-the-Week selections. Leatherman received one in cross county after taking ninth in the Bullock Invitational. He also captured a HCAC Track-Athlete-of-the-Week selection during the indoor season as a senior after winning the 3,000 during the UIndy Season Opener with a time of 9:08.13. Leatherman received academic all-HCAC honors in each of the years he was eligible, which include three for cross country, three for indoor track and field, and four for outdoor track and field. He also received the HCAC Sportsmanship award as a junior for indoor track and field and as a senior for cross country.

Leatherman graduated from Anderson in 2020 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering. He graduated from the Honors program and the Alpha Chi Honors Society. Leatherman is currently pursuing a Master of Business Administration at Anderson. He is currently a graduate assistant for the Engineering department, aiding students with projects, helping recruit future engineering students and acting as a faculty advisor for the Engineering Club.

Anderson University is on a mission to educate students for lives of faith and service, offering more than 60 undergraduate majors, 30 three-year degrees, 20 NCAA Division III intercollegiate sports, alongside adult and graduate programs. The private, liberal arts institution is fully accredited and recognized among top colleges for its business, computer science, cybersecurity, dance, engineering, nursing, and teacher education programs. Anderson University was established in 1917 in Anderson, Indiana, by the Church of God.

ANDERSON UNIVERSITY: Browne Named Anderson Volleyball Assistant Coach

(AU RELEASE)

The Anderson University volleyball program and head coach Tami Miller have named Kyle Browne as an assistant coach, which was announced on Tuesday.

“We are very excited to add Kyle Browne to our staff,” Coach Tami Miller said. “He brings some great volleyball experience at Siena Heights and Culver-Stockton. Kyle is very technical and will push our players to be more disciplined and improve on their skills.”

On the Barbados national indoor volleyball and beach volleyball teams, Browne served as a captain on the junior team and also competed on the senior team. Browne was the top scorer during the 2013 Junior Caribbean Volleyball Championship. He also was the tournament leader in kills for the 2018 Caribbean Volleyball Championship.

In college, Browne competed in men’s volleyball with Siena Heights University for two years and with Culver-Stockton College for two years. As freshman, Browne provided set averages of 3.67 kills, 0.31 service aces and 2.14 digs. Among NAIA leaders, Browne ranked 10th in kills pet set, 30th in service aces per set and 31st in digs per set. Browne was also tabbed as an NAIA Attacker of the Week during his freshman season.

In the first of his two years at Culver-Stockton, Browne garnered second-team all-Heart of America Athletic Conference (HAAC) honors as a junior. Browne racked up 8.30 assists per set, which ranked fourth in the HAAC and 28th in the nation. He also contributed 0.31 service aces per set, which ranked fourth in the conference and 37th in the nation. During his career, Browne produced set averages of 2.82 kills, 3.52 assists, 0.29 service aces and 1.75 digs as well as a .208 attack percentage.

“Coach Miller made the decision extremely easy to want to be a part of the AU family,” Kyle Browne said. “The culture that she created and the large goals the program has, directly aligned with the type of environment I wanted to pursue.  It was not only motivating but also inspiring to see the direction the Ravens Family wishes to continue.”

Browne spent two years as an assistant coach at St. Leonard’s Boys Secondary School in Bridgetown, Barbados, beginning in 2013. He served the next two years as an assistant coach on the Barbados youth women’s volleyball team. Browne has earned a Barbados Olympic Association Level 3 Attacker Coach certification and a Barbados Olympic Association Level 1 Setter coach certification.

Outside of volleyball at Culver-Stockton, Browne served as an admissions assistant for a semester and an athletics administrative assistant for a semester.

A native of Bridgetown, Barbados, Browne graduated from Culver-Stockton in 2021 with a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration in Management. Browne is currently pursuing a Master of Business Administration at Anderson.

Anderson University is on a mission to educate students for lives of faith and service, offering more than 60 undergraduate majors, 30 three-year degrees, 20 NCAA Division III intercollegiate sports, alongside adult and graduate programs. The private, liberal arts institution is fully accredited and recognized among top colleges for its business, computer science, cybersecurity, dance, engineering, nursing, and teacher education programs. Anderson University was established in 1917 in Anderson, Indiana, by the Church of God.

VINCENNES ATHLETICS: Trailblazer golf starts Fall 2021 season with two Top-10 finishers

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – The Vincennes University golf team teed off in their first tournament of the Fall 2021 season Monday afternoon at Panther Creek Country Club in Springfield, Ill. in the Heartland Invitational.

Vincennes came away with a fourth-place finish from sophomore Bryce Kirchner (North Vernon, Ind.) and freshmen Paxton Schwomeyer (Oakland City, Ind.)  finished ninth after a strong second round.

The 36-hole, one day tournament served as an endurance test for many of the Trailblazer players Monday, as Kirchner was the only Trailblazer player with experience playing two round-one day college tournament.

“When anyone says golf isn’t a physical sport, I refer back to these 36-hole, one day tournaments,” VU Golf Coach Dennis Chattin said. “Carrying your clubs for 10 miles, in that heat and stay mentally focused over nine to 10 hours, that’s hard to do.”

Kirchner was the only Blazer to shoot under par in both rounds, coming away with a 71 and a 70 to put him at three under for the day and in a five-way tie for fourth place.

Schwomeyer followed close behind, putting up a 73 in the opening round, before coming back with a 70 in the second round for a one under par on the day.

“A lot of what we got from Bryce and Paxton is experience,” Chattin added. “Bryce is a third-year player, who played in the National Tournament last year and is a hard-worker. He’s really worked on his game over the summer. But his experience, you can’t duplicate that.”

“Paxton has had a lot of experience too, even though it wasn’t in college. He’s played a lot of summer tournaments. He played in the Yestingsmeier Cup, after being chosen to represent the Evansville Area team in the tournament. Paxton also played in the State Championship last year. Going into the second day he was second on the leaderboard, so you just can’t duplicate those kinds of experiences.”

Freshmen Sam Stewart (Floyds Knob, Ind.) and Dominic DePass (Washington, Ind.) showed the most improvement from one round to another, with the pair taking four shots off their opening round scores.

Stewart began the day with a 78, before coming back with a second round 74. DePass improved on his first round 81 with a second round 77.

DePass had to battle the weather late in round two, battling heavy rain on the final few holes of the day.

Freshman Zeke Niehaus (Evansville, Ind.) stayed consistent on the links Monday afternoon, finishing with an 82 in both rounds on the day.

The Trailblazers as a team were able to improve by 12 shots from the first round to the second, which moved VU up the leaderboard three places to a fourth-place tie with Rend Lake.

Vincennes will see Rend Lake again, as the Blazers will travel this weekend to take part in the Rend Lake Fall Preview Saturday, Sept. 4 and Sunday Sept. 5 at the Rend Lake Golf Course in Whittington, Ill.

“I think this course will fit our game pretty well,” Chattin said. “We hit the ball a long way and I think this course is a little more open, so I think that will fit our game well. The course does have really big greens, so we should be able to hit a lot of greens. Golf is different because you don’t always play on the same course and certain courses fit different players. But I think this course will fit us well.”

TEAM RESULTS

Parkland – 272, 283, 555

Heartland – 292, 276, 568

Danville Area – 293, 298, 591

Vincennes – 303, 291, 594

Rend Lake – 292, 302, 594

Illinois Central – 298, 304, 602

Illinois Valley – 298, 307, 605

Mineral Area – 306, 300, 606

Lincoln Trail – 309, 315, 624

Lewis & Clark – 307, 326, 633

INDIVIDUAL SCORES

Bryce Kirchner T4 – 71, 70, 141

Paxton Schwomeyer 9 – 73, 70, 143

Sam Stewart T27 – 78, 74, 152

Dominic DePass T36 – 81, 77, 158

Zeke Niehaus 46 – 82, 82, 164

TAYLOR ATHLETICS | Adams and Bragg Honored as CL Players of the Week

UPLAND, Ind. – The Crossroads League announced the second installment of its weekly honors, with Amanda Adams repeating as the CL Attacker of the Week and Kacy Bragg recognized as the CL Setter of the Week.

Adams increased the stat line from her previous weekly honor by executing 56 kills, 32 digs, and four service aces in TU’s three matches throughout the Amber McClure Fayerweather Memorial Tournament. The fifth-year senior finished the tournament averaging a double-double with 18.7 kills and 10.7 digs per match, while boasting a remarkable kill percentage of .317. The Taylor outside hitter played a large role in TU’s hard-fought opening match against Concordia (2-4), in which the Trojans won in five sets while Adams racked up 19 kills and 15 digs.

Adams currently ranks 17th in the NAIA with 103 kills and 14th with 4.12 kills per set.

The standout Ohio native has now earned six CL weekly awards in her career. Meanwhile, teammate, Kacy Bragg, received her second career CL weekly award and the first of her junior season.

Bragg’s award-winning stat line boasted 132 assists, 35 digs and six kills throughout the three-match tournament. The Taylor setter averaged 11.0 assists per set and showcased her skill with a 50-assist effort against St. Francis (0-4) in TU’s second match on Saturday.

Bragg currently ranks 14th in the NAIA with 251 total assists and 17th with 10.04 assists per set.

Taylor now boasts four CL weekly awards in just two weeks of competition in the 2021-2022 athletic year, three of which belong to TU’s volleyball squad.

The Trojans are off to their best start since beginning the year 8-1 back in 2014.

Adams, Bragg and the Trojans (6-1) return to play Wednesday, September 1, as they take on Grace College (3-1) on its court, a match that will be the first Crossroads League meeting for either team.